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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1995 Feb;21(1):81-91.

Factors associated with help seeking and perceived dependence among cocaine users.

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  • 1Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Motivational and decisional models suggest that those who seek help for substance use problems may differ from those who do not seek help in terms of their belief that substance use is creating social and personal negative consequences and their perceived dependence. In this study, help seeking for cocaine use was hypothesized to be a function of the negative consequences from cocaine, perceiving oneself as dependent on cocaine, quantity and frequency of use, cost of use, and route of administration. A sample of 161 substance abusers in treatment who had used any cocaine in the last 6 months completed questionnaires regarding the quantity, frequency, history, and perceptions of the consequences of their cocaine use. Of the 161 subjects, 113 (70.2%) had at some time sought help from someone for their cocaine use. After controlling for marital and employment status, a logistic regression revealed that the number of negative consequences experienced, feeling dependent on cocaine, and the amount of cocaine used were associated with seeking help for cocaine use. Additionally, a logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with cocaine users' reporting that they feel dependent on cocaine. Significant variables included number of negative consequences experienced and frequency of use. Consistent with motivational and decisional models, results suggest that clients' motivation to seek help for cocaine use is related primarily to adverse consequences of use. Theoretical and clinical implications of results are discussed.

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